Monday 28 September 2020
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"Do not jump into the unknown"

Monday 10 August 2020

"Do not jump into the unknown"


Guernsey's Coastguard is warning of the dangers of 'tombstoning' off coastal walls, piers and rocks, after people were seen jumping from the sea walls at Havelet and Herm harbour.

Tombstoning involves jumping from the coastline into deep water, often during high tides, and can cause serious injuries.

"We cannot over-emphasise how dangerous it can be to - quite literally - jump into the unknown," said Head of Guernsey Coastguard and Harbourmaster, Captain David Barker. "You can never tell what is hidden from view under the sea's surface. Not only hidden rocks, but also other objects could be floating below the surface or on the seabed.

"Just the impact with the water from enough height can cause serious injury. Tombstoning can have severe and life threatening consequences."

Havelet Wall

Pictured: The Coastguard is particularly concerned about people jumping from Havelet wall.

"We are urging everyone to consider the risk to themselves and others. If you must jump into the sea, do it under the guidance of a qualified coasteering instructor."

The Coastguard is particularly concerned about people jumping from the sea wall at Havelet Bay on the Castle Emplacement. It has also reiterated that swimming in St Peter Port harbour is prohibited, because of the risk from commercial and leisure vessels using the area.

"Look out for warning signs and do not jump into the unknown," added Captain Barker. "The bays and harbours around the Bailiwick have tides that rise and fall as much as a two-storey building and currents that move faster than an Olympic swimmer in some areas.

"We want everyone to enjoy our beautiful waters and coastline, but please be safe."

Anyone who sees a person near or in the water, who they believe to be in immediate danger, is asked to call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard.

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